How Far to Extend Backsplash


Deciding how far to extend your backsplash is an important design consideration when renovating your kitchen. The right backsplash design can really enhance the look and feel of your space. In this article, we’ll discuss the factors to consider when determining how far to extend your backsplash and provide tips for gorgeous, functional backsplash designs.

What is a Backsplash?

A backsplash is a protective surface that is installed on the wall behind sinks, stoves, ranges, and other areas prone to splashes and spills. Backsplashes are typically made of tile, metal, glass, or other water-resistant materials. In addition to protecting the walls, backsplashes serve as decorative focal points in kitchens and bathrooms.

How Far to Extend the Backsplash – Key Factors

When determining how far to extend your backsplash, keep the following factors in mind:


The main purpose of a backsplash is to protect the walls from moisture damage. Extend the backsplash at least 4-6 inches beyond the edges of sinks, stoves, and other appliances prone to splashing. For a bathtub, extend the backsplash a minimum of 1 inch above the lip.

Design Cohesion

Choose a backsplash height that complements your overall kitchen or bathroom design. If using large tile, extending to the bottom of wall cabinets creates a seamless look. For small mosaic tiles, ending the backsplash at a major horizontal line (e.g. bottom of a window) can look best.

Countertop Material

Consider your countertop material. Tile or stone backsplashes often look best extending just to the bottom edge of wall cabinets. For solid surface countertops like quartz, full height backsplashes can mimic the countertop.


Larger backsplash installations cost more. Determine how much you want to invest and calculate the materials needed for different extending options.


Minimize grout lines and seams behind appliances where grime can build up. Full height backsplashes are easier to wipe down.

Backsplash Extension Options

Here are some of the most popular options for extending backsplashes:

4-6 Inches Beyond Appliances

Extending 4-6 inches beyond appliances is the minimum recommended for functionality. This protects the immediate splash zones.

Partway Up the Wall

For a partial backsplash, extend from the countertop to a middle point on the wall, usually 12-18 inches high. This style works well with mosaic tiles or on a budget.

To Bottom Edge of Wall Cabinets

Extending to the underside of wall cabinets (often 18 inches above countertop) creates a finished, seamless look. This works well for large format tile.

Full Height Backsplash

A full height backsplash extends all the way from countertop to ceiling. This high-end look mimics solid surface countertops and makes a statement.

To Bottom Edge of Window or Design Element

You can end a backsplash by aligning it with another horizontal design line like the bottom of a window. Only do this if it meets the minimum 4-6 inches beyond appliances.

Avoid Ending at an Arbitrary Point

Unless aligned with another line, avoid ending a backsplash an arbitrary distance like 8 inches or 28 inches up the wall. This can look odd and disjointed. Extend to at least a cabinet or major line.

Design Tips for Pretty, Functional Backsplashes

Follow these tips for a gorgeous, functional backsplash design:

  • Mix materials behind cooktops – use durable tile directly behind, then switch to more delicate materials like glass further away.
  • Inside corner treatment – use bullnose tiles or glass trim to create a finished edge.
  • Coordinating grout color – match or contrast grout against tile color for different looks.
  • Accent stripes or geometric designs – use patterns sparingly as an accent against solid tile.
  • Extend above vulnerable areas – go farther above cooktops or vanities where extra protection is needed.
  • Inside corner treatment – use bullnose tiles or glass trim to create a finished edge.
  • Non-porous materials behind cooktops – avoid natural stone that can stain from cooking splatters. Use ceramic, glass or metal here.


How far to extend backsplash behind stove?

Extend the backsplash 6-12 inches beyond the edges of the stove top and overhead exhaust hood. Go farther if heavy cooking is done regularly.

How high should backsplash be in kitchen?

The most common height is to extend from countertop to bottom of wall cabinets, usually around 18 inches. Full height (to ceiling) or partial height (12-16 inches) are also options.

Should backsplash match countertops?

It’s not mandatory, but matching materials creates a seamless look. Many quartz manufacturers make coordinating tile. Contrasting can also be beautiful if colors are complementary.

Does backsplash have to go all the way to ceiling?

No, full ceiling height is optional for a dramatic look. Many backsplashes stop at wall cabinets or a design line. Just be sure to meet minimum extend requirements beyond appliances.

Should backsplash tile match floor tile?

Matching the backsplash tile to floor tile helps connect the spaces visually. However, the flooring usually covers a larger area, so it’s also fine to use different tiles. Coordinate the colors.

Can you use different backsplash materials?

Yes, mixing materials is a great way to customize a backsplash design. Use rugged tile behind appliances and delicate glass or metal elsewhere. Mixing patterns and textures can also be attractive.


The key considerations when determining how far to extend your backsplash are functionality, design cohesion, budget, and cleanability. While the minimum splash protection is 4-6 inches beyond appliances, for a finished, seamless look, extending to cabinets or a major design line is recommended. Creative mixing of materials and accents can make your backsplash truly unique. With these tips, you can design a gorgeous, tailored backsplash perfect for your space.